I listened to this message by Pastor Paul Washer and wanted to share it with you. It will challenge you to rethink why you are married and to reflect if your actions are glorifying God. Please comment what you were challenged with.
Have you ever flown on an airplane? If so, do you remember what the instructions are if there were to be a loss in cabin pressure? Well, I’ve never been a flight attendant (at least yet in this lifetime), but I use the analogy of being on an airplane to describe the importance of taking care of yourself. So, sit back and remain calm… it may be a bumpy ride on the way up.
If there happens to be a drop in cabin pressure, please make sure to look up. You will find oxygen masks, one for each of the seats in your row that have dropped from their storage unit. It is extremely important for you to reach for one and place the mask around YOUR FACE FIRST. But what about my children? Stop and breathe. Like I stated, it is extremely important for you to place the mask on you first. Why you first?
You are important! In order to take care of your children, you need to take care of yourself. How can you be there for your children in the future, if you don’t take care of yourself now? Children are dependent on their parents to show them how to handle stress. When the oxygen masks drop in an airplane, stress level rises. If you fail to follow instructions, you may lose oxygen which leads to passing out. How useful would you be if you happened to do just that with children around?
To prevent passing out or becoming exhausted with overwhelming stress, find some “me time”. Hire a babysitter once a night to have some peace and quiet. Treat yourself to a nice lunch or dinner alone or with someone who builds you up. If married, have a date night to keep the love alive. Make sure to have plenty of sleep, a balanced diet and exercise to assist in relieving stress. Yes, life is stressful, but as long as you remember to take care of Numero Uno, YOU, you can survive.
What are some ways that you have taken care of yourself lately?
Words of Affirmation
I can’t tell you how many men and women have sat in my office and said to me, “I work my tail off every day, yet my spouse acts like I haven’t done a thing. I never get a single word of appreciation.”
If your spouse’s primary love language is words of affirmation, your spoken praise and appreciation will fall like rain on parched soil. Before long, you will see new life sprouting in your marriage as your spouse responds to your words of love.
Acts of Service
Do you remember the old saying, “Actions speak louder than words”? For some people, that is particularly true of love. If acts of service is your spouse’s primary love language, nothing will speak more deeply to him or her emotionally than simple acts of service.
Maxine, who had been married for 15 years, came to my office one day because she was frustrated with her marriage. Listen to what she said: “I don’t understand David. Every day he tells me that he loves me, but he never does anything to help me. He just sits on the couch watching TV while I wash the dishes, and the thought never crosses his mind to help me. I’m sick of hearing ‘I love you.’ If he loved me, he would do something to help me.”
Maxine’s primary love language is acts of service (not words of affirmation), and even though her husband, David, loved her, he had never learned to express his love in a way that made her feel loved. However, after David and I talked and he read The Five Love Languages, he got the picture and started speaking Maxine’s love language. In less than a month, her love tank was beginning to fill up, and their marriage moved from winter to spring.
The next time I talked to Maxine, she said, “It’s wonderful. I wish we had come for counseling 10 years ago. I never knew about the love languages. I just knew I didn’t feel loved.”
In every society throughout human history, gift giving has been perceived as an expression of love. Giving gifts is universal, because there is something inside the human psyche that says if you love someone, you will give to him or her.
What many people do not understand is that for some people, receiving gifts is their primary love language. It’s the thing that makes them feel loved most deeply. If you’re married to someone whose primary love language is gift giving, you will make your spouse feel loved and treasured by giving gifts on birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and “no occasion” days.
The gifts need not be expensive or elaborate; it’s the thought that counts. Even something as simple as a homemade card or a few cheerful flowers will communicate your love to your spouse. Little things mean a lot to a person whose primary love language is receiving gifts.
If your spouse’s love language is quality time, giving him or her your undivided attention is one of the best ways you can show your love. Some men pride themselves on being able to watch television, read a magazine, and listen to their wives, all at the same time. That is an admirable trait, but it is not speaking the love language of quality time.
Instead, you must turn off the TV, lay the magazine down, look into your mate’s eyes, and listen and interact. To your spouse, 20 minutes of your undivided attention – listening and conversing – is like a 20-minute refill of his or her love tank.
Men, if you really want to impress your wife, the next time she walks into the room while you are watching a sporting event, put the television on mute and don’t take your eyes off her as long as she’s in the room. If she engages you in conversation, turn the TV off and give her your undivided attention. You will score a thousand points and her love tank will be overflowing.
We have long known the emotional power of physical touch. That’s why we pick up babies and touch them tenderly. Long before an infant understands the meaning of the word love, he or she feels loved by physical touch.
In marriage, the love language of physical touch includes everything from putting a hand on your mate’s shoulder as you walk by, touching his or her leg as you’re driving together, and holding hands while you’re walking to kissing, embracing and sexual intercourse.
If physical touch is your spouse’s primary love language, nothing communicates love more clearly than for you to take the initiative to reach out and touch your mate.
Retrieved from Focus on the Family
It is important to start having kids help out with chores. Here is a guideline to use for different age groups:
Ages 2 and 3
Assist in making their beds
Pick up playthings with your supervision
Take their dirty laundry to the laundry basket
Fill a pet’s water and food bowls (with supervision)
Help a parent clean up spills and dirt
Ages 4 and 5
Get dressed with minimal parental help
Make their bed with minimal parental help
Bring their things from the car to the house
Set the table with supervision
Clear the table with supervision
Help a parent prepare food
Help a parent carry in the lighter groceries
Match socks in the laundry
Answer the phone with parental assistance
Be responsible for a pet’s food and water bowl
Hang up towels in the bathroom
Clean floors with a dry mop
Ages 6 and 7
Make their bed every day
Choose the day’s outfit and get dressed
Write thank you notes with supervision
Be responsible for a pet’s food, water and exercise
Vacuum individual rooms
Wet mop individual rooms
Fold laundry with supervision
Put their laundry in their drawers and closets
Put away dishes from the dishwasher
Help prepare food with supervision
Empty indoor trash cans
Answer the phone with supervision
Ages 8 to 11
Take care of personal hygiene
Keep bedroom clean
Be responsible for homework
Be responsible for belongings
Write thank you notes for gifts
Wake up using an alarm clock
Wash the family car with supervision
Prepare a few easy meals on their own
Clean the bathroom with supervision
Learn to use the washer and dryer
Put all laundry away with supervision
Take the trash can to the curb for pick up
Test smoke alarms once a month with supervision
Screen phone calls using caller ID and answer when appropriate
Ages 12 and 13
Take care of personal hygiene, belongings and homework
Write invitations and thank you notes
Set their alarm clock
Maintain personal items, such as recharging batteries
Change bed sheets
Keep their rooms tidy and do a biannual deep cleaning
Change light bulbs
Change the vacuum bag
Dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms and do dishes
Mow the lawn with supervision
Baby sit (in most states)
Prepare an occasional family meal
Ages 14 and 15
Responsible for all personal chores for ages 12 and 13
Responsible for library card and books
Do assigned housework without prompting
Do yard work as needed
Prepare food — from making a grocery list and buying the items (with supervision) to serving a meal — occasionally
Wash windows with supervision
Ages 16 to 18
Responsible for all personal chores for ages 14 and 15
Responsible to earn spending money
Responsible for purchasing their own clothes
Responsible for maintaining any car they drive (e.g., gas, oil changes, tire pressure, etc.)
Retrieved from Focus on the Family
Christmas can be the most difficult time of the year to be without your child. Seeing all of the Christmas decorations and Santa’s in the malls, kids running around being festive about the holiday season can leave you feeling overwhelmed and depressed. Every parent wants to see their child wake up Christmas morning to open their gifts, so what can you do if your child will be with their other parent?
My first year was very difficult without my son, but since then I have learned three key things that have help me deal with this transition.
1. Celebrate Christmas early or late.
My son taught me that the date is not as important as the time spent at home. This year we had Christmas early. We plan a day when he was able to wake up early in the morning and open all of his gifts. He had all of his favorite meals and we played all day with his new toys. If you were not able to celebrate early, it’s okay to plan something for your child when they return home. It’s never too late to celebrate.
It is exciting to put a smile on someone else’s face. There are so many people who don’t have anyone in their life to care for them, or have lost a love one and the holiday season can be extremely difficult for them to get through. You can start be contacting your local shelter, senior citizen homes or church. It always great to give back to those in need.
3. Pamper yourself.
Don’t be afraid to take time out for yourself. You can treat yourself to massage, manicure or pedicure. Go see a movie that you been waiting to come out. If you not able to spend a lot of money, stay home and fix your favorite meal, watch your favorite program or sit quietly and listing to some music or read a book.
You have to find time to fine tune yourself so you can be a better person to yourself and your love ones.
I work at a facility that encourages our clients to listen to music as a coping skill. We even have a group called Music Therapy where they listen to songs that inspire them to journal. However, is the music that my clients listen to productive or detrimental to their well-being?
Now a days, when I turn on the radio to whatever station (pop, rap, country, you name it) within my 40 minute drive to work, I hear at least ONE song referring to substance use. The latest (and most horrific in my opinion) song that I’ve heard is “Coco” by O.T. Genasis. At first I thought the singer was saying “I’m in love with the Po-po”, which made no sense to me at all. I truly did not understand what this singer was saying really until the song reached the refrain. Here is the refrain:
Bakin’ soda, I got bakin’ soda
Bakin’ soda, I got bakin’ soda
Whip it through the glass (bleep)
I’m blowin’ money fast (bleep)
I censored the refrain for professional reasons, but listening to the refrain disturbed me. He’s not in love with the police…. he’s in love with cocaine. How does a client like mine, who may be recovering from an addiction, benefit from this song? NADA! If anything, I see this song may encourage relapse.
This is not the first and most likely will not be the last controversial song on the radio. Back in April of last year, Tove Lo produced a song “Habits (Stay High)”. That song stayed in the Top 100 US Singles for 32 weeks! What did this song speak of? Of course using marijuana and promoted promiscuity to numb feelings. Yes our life experiences can be painful. Yes we can turn to drugs or alcohol to bandage the hurt. But, do we truly want the radio to promote this lifestyle?
I think back to when I was a teenager trying to discover my identity and ways to keep my sanity with crazy hormones. Of course, there were songs related to my teenage years referring to drugs, like “Because I Got High” by Afroman. But, I never paid attention to song lyrics, just the melody. So what’s the difference between the 2000’s and now? The lyrics are becoming more explicit, straight-forward and peer pressuring than ever. Some of them have a catchy melody, but if you truly listen to the lyrics are you enjoying the message?
As a non-parent, I’m concerned for those that do have future generations growing up listening to these lyrics. I challenge you to ask your children or teenagers what they perceive from these lyrics. Their answer might worry some of you. Take action and talk to your children or teenagers about the music they are listening to. Keeping open communication with your children will promote a bond of trust. With trust, your children may be less susceptible to substance use. Let’s return our society back to healing.